Archive for November, 2008

I’m famous.

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Walt and I were looking at the county-by-county electoral map on November 6, and saw that curving blue line across the deep south.   I said, “What the hell is that?  It’s got to be some kind of geographic feature.”  We looked in Google Earth and didn’t see anything obvious, and then I got an idea and googled “Cotton Production 1860″.   Voila, the maps match perfectly.  I cropped the national electoral map to match the cotton map and put them both up on a page that very afternoon.

See this post on Wonkette, titled “Slaves vote heavily in Obama’s favor?“   Wonkette got it from Andrew Sullivan, who got it from Strange Maps, who got it from Pin the Tail, who apparently got it from me and posted it a week after my page went up.

Update: After this post went up, both Strange Maps and The Vigorous North cited my original post.  They also add considerable interesting content, and The Vigorous North traces the landforms and soil types responsible for this pattern back to the late Cretaceous shoreline.  Worth a look.

Update to the Update: Now featured on Rachel Maddow’s blog as part of an even more comprehensive discussion.


Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

That was the moment we knew.  When Ohio was called for Obama, he had 195 electoral votes, and with the near-certainty that IA, CA, OR, and WA would follow, he had 275 votes and the presidency.

No election in my life has moved me as much as this one.

Election Night

Now we’ve got what we wanted, and the real work starts — we’ve just handed Obama some of the worst national problems in recent history.  I can only wish him strength, good advice, and wisdom.

Election Day

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Saturday Sophie and I volunteered to canvass for Obama, and although she had to work Sunday, I went back and volunteered again.  This close to the election, all the effort is directed at getting out the vote, so we were visiting households already identified as favoring Obama or at least leaning that way.  Even so, it was kind of a revelation to us.  These were overwhelmingly white neighborhoods we were in.  Most of the people we saw were elderly – just the kind of Democrats who were supposed to be pissed off because Hilary didn’t get the nomination.  And yet we repeatedly heard things like “Oh, yes, I’m voting for Obama.  Yes, I know where the polling place is.  I never miss an election.”  Or as one old guy said, “Well, I guess I’ll vote for him.  I’m sure as hell not voting for a Republican!” 

Considering all the right-wing rants I read in the call-in column in the local paper, it restores my faith in my fellow man to find out that there really are Democrats in Southeast Missouri.   These people live in modest homes in middle-class neighborhoods; a lot of them are retired, and living on fixed incomes, and they clearly see that Obama is the candidate with their economic interests at heart.   I don’t think the Bradley effect is happening here; they weren’t trying to tell me what I wanted to hear, while secretly planning to vote for the white guy.  The few people we ran into who seemed like they opposed him on racial grounds were pretty openly hostile.  Ironically, those few were in the poorest neighborhoods, and had the most to lose from a continuation of trickle-down economics. 


Missouri overall leans slightly toward McCain, and this part of the state is strongly Republican.  However, if we can get about 40% of the vote in this region, the strongly Democratic populations of St. Louis and Kansas City can put Missouri in the Obama column.  The last time I actively worked for a presidential candidate was when Bill Clinton ran the first time, and I think there’s even more enthusiasm for Obama this year than there was for Clinton in 1992.  Even out in the boonies where we live, there are Obama supporters – Obama yard signs in Fruitland!  On highway Y!  At the livestock auction yard on highway C! 


The national polls and electoral maps look good.  Still, I’m anxious.  As one of Cabell’s friends blogged, “”I feel like it’s Christmas Eve, only with the suspense of wondering whether Santa is going to bring me a pony or set my house on fire.”